Three of Australia’s leading real estate data providers have suggested the property market downturn is over.
CoreLogic, PropTrack and Domain have all now said the downturn is behind us or that the market has stabilised and prices up picked up slightly.
The latest CoreLogic Home Value Index increased 0.5 per cent in April, following a 0.6 per cent increase in March, to be one per cent higher across the past three months.
The national median dwelling value is now $709,130.
This comes after falling about 9.1 per cent between May last year and February this year.
Sydney is leading the positive trend in housing conditions, with dwelling values rising each month since February.
Sydney values are now three per cent higher than the recent trough recorded in January.
Additionally, the four largest capital cities all recorded a rise in housing values over the rolling quarter.
CoreLogic Research Director Tim Lawless said it was increasingly clear the housing market had moved through an inflection point.
“Not only are we seeing housing values stabilising or rising across most areas of the country, a number of other indicators are confirming the positive shift,” he said.
“Auction clearance rates are holding slightly above the long run average, sentiment has lifted and home sales are trending around the previous five-year average.”
Mr Lawless said a worsening imbalance between supply and demand may be behind the trend towards more positive housing values.
“A significant lift in net overseas migration has run headlong into a lack of housing supply,” he said.
“While overseas migration would normally have a more direct correlation with rental demand, with vacancy rates holding around one per cent in most cities, it’s reasonable to assume more people are fast tracking a purchasing decision simply because they can’t find rental accommodation.”
“Many prospective vendors have stayed on the sidelines through the downturn, keeping inventory at below average levels and providing sellers with some leverage at the negotiation table.”
Mr Lawless also noted that the growing expectation that the rate-hiking cycle is over or nearly over, following a sharp decline in values, is another likely factor supporting housing demand.
“This could be contributing to a broader perception that the market has bottomed out, and for those attempting to time the market, that it is considered to be a good time to buy,” he said.
“As interest rates stabilise there is a good chance consumer sentiment will improve, bolstering housing market activity from both a purchasing and a selling perspective.”
Although housing conditions are looking more positive, values across most regions remain well below their recent cyclical highs.
Hobart recorded the largest drop from the recent market peak, down 13 per cent.
Sydney dwelling values had recorded a 13.8 per cent drop from the market peak to recent trough, however a three per cent rise in values over the past three months leaves the market 11.2 per cent below the recent high.
Brisbane has recorded the third largest decline, with values holding 10.7 per cent below their recent peak.
Regional markets are showing greater diversity, however the trend remains one where values are generally stabilising or rising.
Mr Lawless pointed out that the trend towards more positive housing market conditions has occurred while interest rates remain well above average.
“The last time we saw housing values trending higher through a rising interest rate environment was during the mid-to-late 2000’s when the mining boom was underway,” he said.
“This period was also characterised by surging net overseas migration that contributed significantly to housing demand.
Several regions reached a new cyclical high in April 2023. Strong growth over the past two months saw Perth recover all of its recent declines, taking values to a new record high.
Regional SA and regional WA also recorded new cyclical peaks, although regional WA values remain 13.7 per cent below the record highs recorded in early 2008.
Regional NSW (down 0.3 per cent) and regional Victoria ( down 0.4 per cent) were the only rest of state regions to record a fall in housing values over the month, however, the quarterly trends in these regions are on a clear trajectory towards a stabilisation in values.
New data from PropTrack showed Australian home prices have risen for the fourth consecutive month in April, with a 0.14 per cent increase.
The cumulative increase for 2023 is now 0.75 per cent, with the national median dwelling value now sitting at $737,000.
Sydney, Adelaide, and Perth recorded the largest increases in April, while Hobart, Canberra, and Melbourne experienced slight price falls.
The Home Price Index highlights that Sydney, which led the downturn, is now leading the recovery.
“Positive demand drivers stemming from the shortages in rental supply and a rebound in international migration are playing a part,” PropTrack Senior Economist Eleanor Creagh said.
“The sustained softness in new listing volumes is also keeping a floor under prices.”.
In terms of regional areas versus capital cities, home price growth has been stronger in the combined capital cities in recent months.
However, regional markets have recorded stronger annual growth in every state.
“Except for WA, capital city markets are outperforming their regional counterparts on a monthly basis in every state,” Ms Creagh said.
“However, regional markets outperformed capital city markets throughout much of the past year.”
The HPI noted that interest rate rises and a slowing economy remain headwinds for the housing market, but the tightness in the labour market, stronger housing demand, and tight supply are likely to see the recovery sustain.
It also highlighted that a home shortage, exacerbated by high construction costs, will underpin values as population growth increases.
Adelaide was the strongest performer with home prices rising to a new peak in April, up 0.41 per cent, while Hobart saw price falls continue into this year, falling 0.27 per cent in April, making it the fastest declining capital city market for the month.
Canberra fell by 0.17 per cent, making it the worst performing market over the past year.
Overall, the report by PropTrack indicates that the price falls recorded over most of last year have begun to reverse in 2023, with strong migration, tight rental markets, and limited supply offsetting the impact of rapid interest rate rises.
Domain has also hinted that the downturn is over, with Chief of Research and Economics Dr Nicola Powell highlighting on LinkedIn that the Australian property market had “stabilised”.
Released last week, Domain’s House Price Report shows house prices rose 0.4 per cent across the combined capital cities to $1.02 million in the March quarter.
The combined regionals were also up 0.7 per cent to $570,073 in the first three months of the year.
House prices rose in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, with the Harbour City leading the way with a 1.3 per cent quarterly jump in house prices to $1.459 million.
Perth recorded a 1.2 per cent rise to $672,177, while Adelaide rose 0.4 per cent to $795,364.
House prices remained relatively steady in Brisbane (down 0.1 per cent) while Melbourne (down 0.5 per cent), Canberra (down 2.5 per cent), Hobart (down 2.9 per cent) and Darwin (down 3.1 per cent) all recorded falls.